On things you can trust.

Dear Coquette,

I think my dad is cheating on my mum. 

I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but it’s pretty gutting nevertheless.

I found out when I borrowed my dad’s laptop. He forgot to delete his history and log out of some swingers website. His phone constantly beeps with new messages. So, nosy bitch that I am, I had a look through his “profile” and messages on this website. Well, ignorance is indeed bliss.

What I need help on is, what do I do? I’m very close to my mum, but she’s coming out of a very rough year of mental health problems which boiled down to low self-esteem and suppressed emotions from a previous bad relationship. The family as a whole is going through a tough time as it is because my younger brother is in Afghanistan. I feel that if I was to share any information with her, it would bring her right back down at a time where she needs to stay positive.

I don’t know whom to talk to about this. If a girl can’t trust her daddy, whom can she trust?

Before you earn yourself a lifetime subscription to a pile of useless daddy issues, I highly recommend you talk to a therapist about this.

It sounds like your mom already has a shrink or two on speed-dial, so have her set you up an appointment as soon as possible. Don’t tell her why. In fact, don’t confront either of your parents about this until you’ve started sorting it out in your own head with the help of a professional.

Just tell your folks that you want to talk with someone about things at school and your brother being in Afghanistan. Hell, you’re a teenager. You don’t need much more of an excuse than that.

Once you’re in a therapeutic environment, take your time with this. You are not obligated to do anything, and whatever else happens, don’t feel like suddenly having this information is somehow forcing you to make a choice between your mother and your father.

This isn’t your burden. It’s not your job to referee your parents’ marriage, and the point here isn’t to address the infidelity. The point here is to make sure that you get through this in as healthy a way as possible.

This is about you, not them. You’re at the tail end of your adolescence, and you’re neck deep in the phase when you start recognizing how flawed your parents really are. How you process this stuff plays a huge role in how you will eventually form relationships as an adult.

You’re having to come to terms with the reality that your parents’ marriage is a complicated and messy thing. That’s tough even in the shiniest of sitcom families. It will be an exercise in patience and forgiveness, but you can get through it.

Just remember, sweetheart, you can still trust. You can trust that regardless of their flaws, your parents want the best for you. You can trust that no matter what, both your mom and your dad will always love you very much.


One thought on “On things you can trust.

  1. Karen in Montreal says:

    Or not …. We all want to believe that deep down our parents love us. But I don’t think it’s helpful to generalize, because that’s actually not always the case. Some parents are so messed up themselves that they are only able to think or care about themselves. And people assuming their parents love them can easily lead to feeling responsible for being treated badly by said parents.

    We hope OP’s parents aren’t like that, but ya just never know ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *